Newcastle United gossip: Rafa Benitez digs at Mike Ashley whilst praising Steve Bruce

Ex-Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez has aimed a dig towards his former employer Mike Ashley but offered praise for his successor Steve Bruce.

Friday, 11th October 2019, 4:45 pm
Updated Friday, 11th October 2019, 4:45 pm

The ex-Liverpool, Chelsea and Real Madrid boss took the reins at the North East club during the 2015/16 season but suffered relegation from the Premier League.

Benitez stayed on Tyneside and guided the Magpies to Championship promotion and kept the Magpies in the top-flight the following two seasons.

Due to a contractual dispute with Ashley, the Spaniard stood down as manager last summer, after his deal expired. Ashley claimed unfair demands made it impossible to retain Benitez.

Rafa Benitez has aimed a dig at Mike Ashley while praising his successor Steve Bruce.

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Whilst Steve Bruce was appointed as his successor, Benitez became manager of Chinese Super League side Dalian Yifang on a two-year-deal – stating his excitement at the project.

The 59-year-old, in his personal blog, revealed he’d watched his former side’s win over Manchester United in the Premier League and made some interesting comments regarding the club’s academy.

“I was really pleased to see Matty Longstaff scoring the winning goal for Newcastle; he was great when he was training with us and it was a good decision from Steve Bruce to make him play,” Benitez said.

“I was also happy to see a few Geordies playing together at the same time; [Andy] Carroll, Sean and Matty [Longstaff]; surely it shouldn’t be difficult to see the benefits of investing in the Academy?

“£4m every year for 10 years means £40 m (one player); one ‘Longstaff’ every year for ten years seems good business to me,” he added.